From the March issue of The Albion magazine, which went on sale today
February was a month to remember – played six, won three, drawn three, including a comfortable draw against Rangers to round the month off – and when you add on last Saturday’s first away win of the season at Elgin, I suspect we’ve enjoyed the most successful run of results since taking over the reins at the beginning of season 2010/11.
It was extremely frustrating to end that run on Tuesday evening at Berwick when, on a difficult pitch, the game appeared to be heading for a goalless stalemate. It was particularly harsh on goalkeeper Sam Filler who had a great game, including a penalty save, only to be denied a clean sheet by the cruellest of deflections with three minutes left on the clock.
I’ll leave Greig McDonald to dwell on footballing matters in his article but it would be remiss of me not to thank him, Marc (McCulloch) and the entire playing squad for their hard work that sees us off the bottom of the league and within touching distance of a play-off spot. Fingers crossed that we get it right at the fourth time of asking versus East Stirlingshire and maintain our upwards progress.
Away from the football, by the time you read this, the Annual Dinner will have taken place (Friday 8th March) at the Golden Lion, Stirling. The event is guaranteed, thanks to the tireless efforts of John Hunter’s Commercial Team, to exceed the projected financial expectations.
In other news, having repeatedly said “watch this space” with regards to the Community Engagement Manager’s post over the past few months, I’m thrilled to announce that the final touches are being put to the job description and the role will be formally advertised at the beginning of w/c 18 March. The Club Website will be the primary medium for communication but other channels will be deployed as appropriate. If everything goes to plan we will have the successful candidate in post by mid to late April. This is a huge and exciting venture for the Club and one that I’m confident will do what it says on the tin – engage Stirling Albion with its community in a manner that will be of benefit to everyone.
The other “biggie” on the go is a new kit deal with our three-year deal with Puma due to end in May. Similar to the community post, the kit deal is on the verge of being signed off and I anticipate being in a position to share next season’s shirt options (home and away) with the Trust Board at their meeting on Monday 11th March. It is for them to decide whether or not they wish to offer these options out to their membership to vote on. In any event, watch out for a Press Release sometime next week.
Finally, a mention for Irn-Bru Cans for Youth; there’s £70k up for grabs for SFL3 (starting with £10k to the winners) and I’m pleased to be able to report that, with the Club Board fully focussed on and occupied by running the Club, the Trust in their role as a fundraising body, have agreed to lead on this initiative. It is essential that they get the full support of not just their members but everyone that has the future of SAFC at heart. If you can help in any way, please give Graham Douglas a ring on 07765 486847 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance. Free money for our Youth Development, in return for some hard work is not something we should miss out on!
Finally a special mention to Smiffy’s Restaurant (aka Fish and Chip shop) in Aviemore for coping admirably with the almost simultaneous arrival of the Team Bus and the Supporters’ Bus as they made their respective return journeys from Elgin – no mean feat, even if some of the supporters opted for a liquid refreshment in the Cairngorm Hotel instead!